It’s never too early to start planning your butterfly garden. Here are some tips to get you started:
Location, location location:
Butterflies like privacy. Keep your garden away from places where too much activity can disturb them. They also don’t like wind, so choose a protection area. Butterflies like sun. They need the warmth to fly. Placing rocks or boulders (just make sure to plant them 1/3 to 1/2 their height so they look natural) around your butterfly garden giving them a place to land and sun themselves. Aside from planting butterfly loving plants, give them evergreens for shelter from heat, wind, cold and predators.
Planning only a few species of butterfly plant will get you only a few species of butterflies. Diversity is important, so include plants that provide nectar and food for caterpillars (larvae) – which are not necessarily the same plant! Also select plants with different bloom times to extend the welcome. As a general rule of thumb, butterflies prefer purple, white or yellow flowers. They also prefer flat-topped blooms to use as landing pads.
Provide a shallow dish of water for them, and change daily. Add stones for them to land on.
Don’t Use Pesticides
Heaven forbid, don’t use pesticides in your yard to kill caterpillars!
Many websites provide local information on which plants will work best for your climate. Always research what is hardy in your area before you buy.